Cybercrimes are one of the highest growing crimes in the world. 2021 reported a 39% increase in cyber attacks in the wholesale/retail sector per week when compared to 2020. With almost all of our activities going virtual (thanks to the pandemic), cybercriminals can easily access targets and hack confidential information or launch attacks. A recent cyberattack on The Works (UK’s learning bookstore) shows that online retailers and shoppers are all the more prone to cyberattacks. Read on to know the best cybersecurity tips for shopping online and staying cyber-safe.
Best Cybersecurity Tips for Shopping Online
Shopping online has its own benefits. You can shop whenever you want without having to step out of your home, all the while saving time, effort, and even money. Want to know how?
With the rise of users shopping online, the intensity and frequency of cybercrimes have also increased. According to a survey, 24% of cyberattacks targeted only retailers. How can you be cyber-secure while shopping online? Here are our recommended cybersecurity tips:
Practice Secure Shopping
One of the best cybersecurity tips is to do shopping using secure online routes. Be it the connection you’re using or the website/app you’re shopping from. Make sure the connection is encrypted (look for only HTTPS sites, rather than HTTP).
Always download apps from verified cyber markets like Google’s Play Store, Apple’s App Store, etc. Browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox show a warning for unsecured searched websites.
Use Credit, Not Debit
Thinking about how we’re paying is as important as what we’re buying. Online payments are usually safe, especially when shopping from a major vendor. But sometimes your financial information is at risk of getting stolen.
A stolen credit card number does less harm than a stolen debit card number. When somebody has your debit card details, they essentially have access to all of your money in the account. They can drain all of your funds, at least until you block the debit card. That is why it’s recommended to use payment gateways or credit cards.
Tip – Never let your browser or the website remember your credit card details.
Use Strong Passwords
How many of us use one password for every website we sign into, just for convenience? Creating a unique password for every account can reduce the probability of hacks. Imagine the loss of identity you’d face if a single account was hacked. The hacker could potentially have access to all of your online activity.
Tip – You can combine and use phrases for passwords that only you know. But make sure they satisfy the password standards and are not easy to guess. Do not keep passwords such as your date of birth, a combination of your and your partner’s name, your vehicle number, your hometown name, your parent’s name, or your pet’s name.
Beware of Scam Emails
Did you know that 92% of spyware attacks are delivered by email? This has become one of the most popular methods to cheat people. This is one of the best cybersecurity tips that you have to follow, DON’T RESPOND TO UNKNOWN EMAILS.
The holiday season is the best time for scammers to make money. You might receive some too-good-to-be-true offers luring you with giveaway gifts or huge discounts. Delete them right away. It’s a sneaky way to get you to click on them and discreetly download malware into your system, thereby compromising your information.
Beware of Telephonic Scams
Scammers can call with fake agendas and ask you about bank details. If you find them asking for your social security number, credit/debit card details, CVV, or one-time password, it should immediately raise red flags in your mind. Understand that it’s a scam. A bank never asks for your bank account details over the phone. Call your bank directly for verifying the problem. Just in case you get scammed and see an unauthorized transaction in your account, contact the bank and block your card immediately.
Beware of “TOO GOOD DEAL”
Deals that seem too good to be true? Gifts from websites you’ve never heard of before? Products at a very cheap price and with only 5-star reviews? All these are different techniques scammers have come up with to cheat people.
There’s a new way people are getting scammed on social media. Imposters advertise counterfeit products in the guise of brands for attractive prices and sell them on temporary websites. After a few days, that website is wiped off the internet.
If you’re tempted by the advertisements, research and read reviews about the seller before buying. One of the websites to check reviews of a reseller is ResellerRatings.
Have you ever come across flashy pop-ups and advertisements claiming extravagant sales? These are often tricks that scammers place to lure people into their stratagem. Clicking on these links will land you on fake websites, also known as phishing sites, which are a replica of authentic ones. If you enter your details on those websites, you’re serving your confidential information on a silver platter directly to the scammer.
Keep Private Things Private
Always be cautious of the information you’re sharing online. Some shopping websites may ask about interests, but such information should always be optional. Information about the payment method, shipping address, mobile number, and email is acceptable. But bank details, social security numbers, etc. are irrelevant to a shopping website and should never be divulged. Many online shopping websites might ask you to save your card details for faster checkouts. No matter how safe they are, we recommend not to save any of your financial details on any website. The best cybersecurity tip is to keep things private so that you don’t expose your private information to others.
Surfing the internet on public networks is dangerous and a big NO. Hackers are lurking around on the network and the moment you connect to the internet, all the personal and financial information on your device is at risk. Do not ever perform online transactions on public networks. If you need to use the connection, then make sure to log out of all banking and payment portals. Check ExpressVPN Coupons if you are planning to buy.
Tip – Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to browse on a public network. They offer a secure channel between your device and the internet. More on VPN later.
Keep Your Antivirus Updated
There is a reason why companies roll out periodic software updates for their products. Updating your software like your Operating Systems, browsers, and shopping applications will help upgrade security and patch up any access points hackers use to exploit, thereby reducing the risk of cyberattacks.
Tip – Install antivirus software onto your device and keep that updated as well. Keeping an updated antivirus software provides you with security against the latest cyber threats.
Lock Your Devices While Away
Do not leave your devices unattended! Protect your devices with a passcode. Shut down your laptop/PC or put them to sleep while stepping away. After shopping and paying, make sure to sign out from the portal before exiting.
Backup Important Data
This is not a tip against a cyber attack, but rather a solution should an attack happen. Take periodic backups of devices, but make sure it’s encrypted as well.
Let us consciously practice these best cybersecurity tips and save ourselves and our loved ones from the claws of cyber attackers while shopping online. Some of the best antivirus software are Bitdefender, Norton, McAfee, etc. They combine malware protection, password management, identity theft protection, and many more.
It is the protection against theft of information, and damage to the hardware or software on the device.
We store confidential information like passwords and bank details on our devices. Failure of following cybersecurity poses the risk of theft and misuse of such information.
You can be cyber safe by following cybersecurity tips like shopping through secured websites and many more.
At Coupon It Now, we’ve been interacting with genuine merchants and brands to bring you honest, seasonal, and sitewide offers.